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How to Get Rid of Ground Beetles

by | May 25, 2020 | Bugs

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Ever Wondered How to Get Rid of Ground Beetles? Many pests can be a nuisance to you and your property. One of them is the ground beetle. These pests are one of the largest family comprising of about 3,000 species worldwide.

These shiny black bugs hide under logs, rocks, and other moist areas. However, just like other pests, they can find a way to your home. While they don’t cause any known health issues to humans, you should know how to get rid of the ground beetles if they become an-nuisance.

The ground beetles feed on seeds and other pests. This is beneficial because by feeding on other bugs, the beetles keep the population of other pests down. Although they don’t damage gardens or lawns, they can be a nuisance during summer when they flock and invade homes.

Ground Beetle Identification

You can be forgiven for confusing the ground beetles with the cockroaches. These bugs have different appearances, depending on the species. The common ones are dark brown or black.

You may also notice others that are iridescent green, metallic bronze, or spotted brown and black. Besides, their shells can be dull or shiny. While they might look different in size and color, they all have three body parts. A small head with antennae and big eyes on the sides, the thorax, and the abdomen. Although these bugs do not fly, they make it up by running very fast when disturbed.

 The adults can measure 1/8 to 1 ½ inches long while the larvae of the common ground beetle are around ¾ inch long. These larvae are segmented and dark. Besides, they also feed on small insects in soil that may be beneficial for the growth of plants.

Lifecycle

The ground beetles undergo a full metamorphosis to develop.  The female bug lays eggs in the ground and produces a single generation yearly. The pupa matures into an adult that lives for a period of one to four years.

The complete lifecycle from egg to adulthood can occur within one season. You are likely to notice the adult beetles between April and October when they are most active.

These bugs feed on aphids, caterpillar, slugs, snails, fly worms, including any insect with a soft body. Besides, other types of beetles feed on the pollen of plants, seeds, and shoots. Some species are likely to feed four times their body weight.

Why Do I Have Ground Beetles?

The ground beetles are typically found outdoors and don’t cause any structural damage. However, if they feel threatened, some species can release a foul gas or acid. These bugs usually look for food at night, which might make them go unnoticed.

Lights attract insects like the ground beetle. This can result in the bugs invading your home through crevices, windows, or doors. The good news is that most of these insects don’t reproduce indoors. Meaning that it is easy to get rid of the ground beetle from your house.

Where to Look

As stated earlier, the ground beetles hide in logs, rocks, and other moist areas. Living to their name, you may also find them under mulch, leaves, wood chips, and pine straws. These nests provide protection from elements and predators, thus a good breeding ground.

However, during heavy rainfall or extreme temperatures, the insects look for better shelter. This may include moving their nesting sites to residential homes and structures for hibernation. Inside homes, you can find them in basements or under objects on the floor.

How to Get Rid of Ground Beetles

Sanitation

If the bugs are already inside your home, you can clear them by thoroughly vacuuming or sweeping your house. Move furniture and check all possible hiding areas.

Another way of dealing with these bugs is by removing decaying wood, mulch, and other debris away from your house foundation. You can also maintain your lawn short and neat. These measures prevent the insects from moving indoors breeding, hence controlling their numbers.

The ground beetles tend to squeeze through tight spaces to get to inside homes. Therefore, an effective way to keep ground beetles away from your home is to seal all possible entryways.  These include the cracks and crevices on walls and windows.

These beetles are always attracted to lightning. If you want to get rid of these pests, then change your lighting from bright white lights to yellow lights. Also, you can minimize how much you use lights. It will direct the bugs away from your house.

Natural enemies

Using natural predators against the beetles is another safe way of controlling their population. Attract birds to your lawn by putting up birdhouses and feeders. Besides, you can introduce shrews and toads to your garden.

Pesticides

If you have a heavy infestation in your home, then you will need pesticides for effectiveness. Due to their thick skin that produces the ‘crunch’ sound when stepped on, ready to use spays are unlikely to work on them. Contact a pest control professional for the best advice concerning the ground beetles.  For outdoor use, apply chlorpyrifos and pyrethroids insecticides.

You can use Bifen granules to set a perimeter around your house. Treat the soil and mulch to form a band that will prevent the bugs from navigating into your house. Use it monthly when the insects are active and every three months to completely eradicate them.

For indoor use, choose an insecticide that is safe to humans and pests. They include pyrethrins and bendiocarb based insecticides. Be sure to read and follow instructions on the label.

Final Remarks

The ground beetles do more good than harm in the natural environment. Since they cause no threat to health and property, controlling their numbers is the best necessary step. When it comes to deciding how to get rid of the ground beetles, getting professional help is the way to go.

Mostly, you will only find the beetles indoors in small numbers. Therefore, the easy way to remove them is by physically capturing them into a container or using a vacuum. Another effective method to deal with these bugs is using sticky traps in areas that they are likely to hide.

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